Madison Bumgarner Fractures Finger: Fantasy impact

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner /

Giants ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner suffered a fractured finger and is expected to miss most of the first half. How does this impact his fantasy value?

For the second time in as many seasons, the San Francisco Giants and fantasy owners will be without pitcher Madison Bumgarner for a significant part of the season. While pitching, he took a line drive off his left hand from Whit Merrifield.

Bumgarner has a displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal (pinky finger). He is expected to have surgery on Saturday “to place pins that will remain in place for four to six weeks,” first tweeted by Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.

While there is no concrete timetable, Baggarly also tweeted that Ryan Vogelsong suffered the same injury in 2013. He suffered the injury on May 20 and returned on Aug. 9, roughly 80 days on the DL. If we were to apply the same math to MadBum, 80 days from Opening Day is June 17.

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That is a rough, rough estimate. Bumgarner’s return time is based on how he handles the surgery and how quickly he can get back to his normal workload. Now, I’m not a doctor (I know, shocking) but I think he’ll return after 80-day mark. The injury is to his pitching hand, which may take longer to recover from. Again, I have no reason to think that but just a hunch.

After the missed time he had last season because of a dirt bike accident, Bumgarner’s value dropped a bit. He is coming in as the fifth starting pitcher, drafted in the third round.

Now, he will be a late-round pick if he’s drafted at all. With a guy of Bumgarner’s caliber, it’ll be hard to leave him off your team, even if you get him for just half of the season.

If you haven’t drafted yet, you’re in luck because you have the benefit of knowing all of this news heading into the draft room. For those owners that already drafted and drafted MadBum (like myself), you’re already looking to make trades or find a replacement off the waiver wire. This is the second year in a row I drafted him and the second year he’ll miss a lot of time. I was able to swap him for Justin Verlander and Michael Brantley last year.

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With just 17 starts last season, Bumgarner finished 65th among starting pitchers on the Player Rater. I expect him to make the same number of starts based on the estimated time missed. He’s still worth drafting in NL-only and deep mixed leagues. This depletes an already shallow top of the pitching pool.